Five Ways to Respond When Someone Ignores Your Emails

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A 2020 study concluded that 65% of emails are ignored – and I wouldn’t doubt it’s far from the truth (Ozdoruk, 2020). Try these five techniques if you’re getting crickets after you push “send.”

Why do people ignore emails?

In order from most to least likely, here is why someone ignores your email.

1. Don’t see it as important enough

Remember that everyone has the time to respond to an email – even rich, successful people with good jobs. They choose to do other things with their time.

Come on, there are 295 million people following Kylie Jenner on Instagram and they’re not all unemployed, uneducated, unsuccessful, broke people with nothing to do all day.

There is a subconscious beat that plays in all our minds. I call it the “disser’s anthem.” It’s how we rationalize blowing off other people, and it goes like this (cue the rap beat):

The disser’s anthem

I have a right to diss anyone I feel like, because I am ”just too busy” with my annual reviews, SEC audit, and my kid’s podiatrist appointment.

So watch me diss, diss, diss like this!

We play this in our head over and over again until someone confronts us about why we ignored their last five emails and then we sing the anthem.

“So sorry for the delay in responding,” we write (so glib and patronizing, by the way). “I’ve been so busy with my annual reviews and SEC audit, and on top of it all, my daughter has plantar fasciitis and has to miss half of track season!”

(wait for the sympathy nod)